Undergraduate Orientation

Placement Testing

To ensure that you are placed in appropriate courses, you will be asked to take a set of online placement tests. The tests will be administered online via Blackboard through December 2014 and January 2015. Students should sign-up for placement testing using the online Orientation and Placement Testing Reservation system.

The results of these tests will be used to place you in the appropriate level English composition and math courses. All students will need to take courses in these areas during their studies at UMBC; the placement tests will help you make the best choices in planning your schedule for the fall semester and beyond. It is therefore important that students complete their required placement testing prior to their Orientation Course Selection Day. Details on the placement tests, as well as sample math tests are provided on the Placement Testing website. If you need special testing accommodations because of a learning or physical disability, please call Student Support Services at 410-455-3250.

English Composition Placement Essay
As an entering UMBC student, you must write an English Composition Placement Essay. Your score on this essay determines your placement in an English Composition course. Because the university cannot administer the Composition Placement Essay more than once to the same student, the score and placement decision are not subject to appeal. Therefore, you need to demonstrate your writing strengths in this essay. Please allow 50 minutes to complete this test.

UMBC Reading Test
The UMBC Reading Test is required of all new freshmen. The Reading Test is designed to assess your vocabulary and comprehension abilities, and takes approximately 60 minutes. The test is composed of six reading passages, each with six questions. These questions are a combination of vocabulary within context and critical reading applications. A percentage score is calculated upon completion of the test.

Mathematics Placement Test
The UMBC Mathematics Placement Test was prepared by the Mathematics Association of America. The test is designed to assess your current level of mathematical skill as it relates to a variety of courses at UMBC. The entire test takes 90 minutes. Students are not permitted to use a calculator.

Some students may qualify for a placement testing exemption if they have transfer credit or have submitted official AP/IB scores (scores pending from current high school seniors do not provide an exemption). Please visit www.umbc.edu/lrc/placement_test_exemptions.html to view the placement test exemption policy.

For information about submitting official AP or IB scores, please contact the Admissions Office at
410-455-2292 or admissions@umbc.edu.